Introduction: Fix TV Remote Control Buttons

Certain buttons on a TV remote can get worn out over time. In my case it was the channel up and channel down buttons. The contacts on the bottom of the button are likely worn out. This is how I fixed mine.

Step 1: Snip a Small Piece of Wire From a Copper Wire

In the photo, the small speck in between the spool of wire and the wire cutters is the piece of wire snipped off for use.

Step 2: Pound the Piece of Wire Into a Little Copper Disc.

With smooth faced hammer, pound the tiny piece of wire into a flat round itty bitty disc. The dot in the middle of the paper is the copper disc pounded out from the wire in the last photo. If the shape is too elongated, trim it with the wire cutters.

Step 3: Disasemble the Remote Control

Using a screwdriver, pry the remote control apart and pull apart the pieces. The screw driver may need to be very small, such as a jewelers screwdriver. On underside of the buttons, there are conducting contact pads that can wear out. Sometimes they only need to be cleaned. This how to addresses a worn contact pad.

Step 4: Glue the Copper Plates Over the Worn Button Contacts

In this photo I've glued small copper plates over the contact pads on the underside of two buttons that were worn. Channel up and channel down. Let the glue dry. I've found that a good strong glue is necessary. I used Gorilla Glue.

Step 5: Put Everything Back Together and Click Away!

Happy surfing!

Comments

author
rkengineer (author)2017-02-03

I used household aluminum foil. Cut it into small pieces of sizes enough to cover the buttons. After cleaning all parts of remote, stuck these pieces to buttons with super glue (cyanoacrylate adhesive). After drying for few minutes, assembled the remote and it works wonderfully well.

author
ArchitS8 (author)2016-11-06

I used aluminium foil. The circuit lines on the circuit board had eroded. I stuck aluminium foil on the rubber pad and voila. It works.

author
JonM134 (author)2016-09-25

Awesome! It worked! Thanks!

author
2WYCE (author)2016-02-19

I used the aluminium foil/super glue method to fix my car remote.

author
jackster-1 (author)2013-10-29

Thanks for the initial fix concept & the variations by others.

In a matter of minutes I fixed the on/off button on my remote using the aluminum
duct tape/hole punch method suggested by" Passing You".

There is no bounce issue, & the operation is so smooth that there's no damage being done to the circuitry below.

Since conductivity is a key element here, one must make sure that the tape is actually metallic... there's a cheaper type on the market that is shiny, & looks like metal, but is actually plastic, and that is NOT CONDUCTIVE, so it wouldn't work in this application.

The shape of the IR lens on my remote made it easier to place the keypad & top face onto the base, but to keep the pad aligned, & from falling out of the face plate on reassembly, I'd used some masking tape, which was easily removed after snapping it back together.

author
finton (author)jackster-12015-11-08

Jackster-1 said "make sure that the tape is actually metallic". Good point. Mine wasn't, as it turned out, so I used KevinM21's foil and glue instead as I had them at hand.

author
antiproduct (author)2014-06-19

Difficulty: fix only with what you can find in an office.

Solution: scissors, pencil, and post-it note.

Just go into the top corner of the post-it note, use the pencil in a small area until it's completely dark (make sure you push down hard). Cut out the small part, apply the sticky side to the pad, re-assemble.

I had a presentation remote that stopped working because the button wore out. I was able to fix it with the above steps. Not sure how long the thing will stick in place, but it works for now.

author
finton (author)antiproduct2015-11-08

Boy, antiproduct, I hope you're a New Zealander, 'cos your Post-it note idea would go well with our "number 8 wire" philosophy! Great McGuyverism!

author
finton (author)2015-11-08

Thanks so much for posting this mmelville3! I actually used the glue and foil as suggested in previous comments, but the concept works great. Now, after such a long time, and for no cost, we can finally lower the TV volume without a struggle!

author
stuart1972 (author)2015-07-14

Going to Give this a try as my stereo remote is 26 years old and has been playing up for some time. I had previously Fixed the power button about 15 years ago with Sellotape and tin foil.

author
Passing You (author)2012-11-20

I used metal duct tape you can find at any hardware store. While it is a large roll to buy for just this project it has many other uses. For round button I used a hole punch.
Take off the backing of the metal duct tape before cutting small pieces. With the hole punch the backing often comes off the metal tape as you can just punch through the metal. The metal tape works great. No glue involved.

author
KevinM21 (author)Passing You2015-05-07

I like the aluminum duct tape idea thats cool i used aluminum foil folded up but had to glue it to the button with crazy glue .

author
Passing You (author)KevinM212015-05-07

Thanks. You idea is a good derivation and probably more practical for people, as people are more likely to have aluminum foil and crazy glue.

author
mmelville3 (author)Passing You2013-01-21

Great idea. I have some of that tape. Next time, I'll probably use this method. At the time I didn't have that tape or know what it was. I was just using what I had. There are lots of great improvements in these comments!

author
KevinM21 (author)2015-05-07

author
KevinM21 (author)KevinM212015-05-07

I used folded up aluminum foil and crazy glue its what i had laying around epoxy glue is better probably

author
NeilH3 (author)2015-03-11

Hi Gogizmodo,

Depending on the equipment in question (for most flat screen TV's) it is most likely a fault on the power supply board for the unit. The most common fault by far, is high temperatures combined with small spaces causing the electrolyte in the capacitors to dry out. This may or may not "take out" other components with it.

Neil

author
gogizmodo (author)2014-10-20

Hi, I have a tip, and also a question.

Did you know that you can check to see whether your IR remote is working by pointing it at your cellphone camera and looking at the display?

My question involves a problem with my remote for a receiver that I thought was related to the keypad or buttons, but now I'm not sure that it is.

When the unit is on, the regular buttons work - volume up/down, mode changes, etc. The power-off button also works. However, the power-on function, which is the same button as the power-off button, does not work.

In other words, I have to turn the unit on manually using the switch on the front, and then I can use the receiver with the remote as you would expect. I can then turn it off when I'm done. However, then pushing the power on/off button won't turn it on.

Could this possibly be a problem with the remote, since there's only one power button, or is this almost certainly a problem with the receiver itself?

author
bnofixitnow (author)2014-01-26

I
used stuff I had already which I was not using...:

>
Studio Pro - Stained Glass Foiling Tape.

60514-1732
- Copper Foil 7/32" ( $6.00 )

>
Loctite Super Glue - Gel Control

234790
- Carded Bottle - 4 g ( $3.00 )

Just used nail clippers to trim the foiling tape,
tweezers and a sewing needle to hold the tape and seperate the adhesive backing
paper from the tape.

I placed each strip of foiling tape onto the button area
after adding a small drop of glue.

I then tamped down the foiling tape with a cotton swab
until the glue set in ten seconds.

Good as new.

author
imrankhan (author)2013-11-05

Hey Don"t waste your time use conductive cigarette packing Aluminium foil for button

author
jackster-1 (author)2013-10-29

Thanks for the initial fix concept & the variations by others.

In a matter of minutes I fixed the on/off button on my remote using the aluminum duct tape/hole punch method suggested by" Passing You", in a matter of minutes.

There is no bounce issue, & the operation is so smooth that there's no damage being done to the circuitry below.

Since conductivity is a key element here, one must make sure that the tape is actually metallic... there's a cheaper type on the market that is shiny, & looks like metal, but is actually plastic, and that is NOT CONDUCTIVE, so it wouldn't work in this application.

The shape of the IR lens on my remote made it easier to place the keypad & top face onto the base, but to keep the pad aligned, & from falling out of the face plate on reassembly, I'd used some masking tape, which was easily removed after snapping it back together.

author
eric m (author)2013-04-27

http://www.smooth-on.com/Epoxy,-Silicone-an/c11_1189/index.html?osCsid=rroncsv8o31mujcl356i421do5


or Devcon Silicone Adhesive works

author
adashi (author)2013-04-19

I fixed a chineese made remote of my media streamer by attaching a 2x2mm piece of aluminium foil to the button, using super glue, and it works like a charm.

author
DPL21 (author)2013-03-05

I have a cheaper remote (from a Tivax dTV converter) that just snaps apart, and back together. Both the circuit board and the keypad were covered in a light coating of oil. I put a small piece of aluminum foil on the inside surface of a button, but it ended up sticking to the board. That was OK though, it fixed the problem. Don't know why they use oil on it, but it doesn't seem to hurt it. Thanks for the great informative posts, huge time savers...

author
Simon92 (author)2013-01-19

how do you come to know whether a conducting pad is worn out?

author
mmelville3 (author)Simon922013-01-21

If the most commonly used button(s) don't work, but others do, it's likely a worn out pad.

author
ice_blade_za (author)2012-06-23

So for those of us that read the comments for the extra bits....

The method I used was to stick double sided tape to tinfoil, peel the wax paper off and this make the foil into "foil tape". I then trim a small strip across the foil tape and crop this into three squares. For applying these squares ... use a pin. I stuck the pin to the sticky side of the foil tape, lifted, placed and pressed it down into each of the button crevices. Once I got going it was so quick I did the whole remote even the buttons that are still working. Ha!

Thanks for this instructable. I was ready to toss the remote and try to find a universal remote that would work (already tried 2 that didn't).

author
ShaunHill (author)2009-10-25

Firstly, thank you for posting this solution, I almost followed this instructable.

That is, until I realised that introducing a metal on metal concept to a remote control is not the best option, due to the added wear that this will cause on the circuit board, thus permanently rendering the remote control useless.

The solution using copper conductive paint sounds like the best to me!

A question for the suggestion about using lead from a pencil, do you actually still have lead pencils, because the last time I checked, it was only possible to purchase graphite based pencils?

author
hjc4604 (author)ShaunHill2012-04-12

Graphite is carbon and it is electrically conductive like a resistor. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphite

author
johnyfive (author)2011-04-06

Thanks all! I never new it was the contacts. My stereo remote is now fixed after 5 years of misery! Though i took your ideas and simplified it. I just used a pencil
(2b in my case, was all i had) and pencilled over the contacts and the buttons and hey presto, good as new. I too signed up just to say thanks. Though this site does look great!

author
Mr_P (author)2010-01-12

I used aluminum foil instead of copper wire. It's allready flat and readily available in most households. After the glue dries, just trim it with a razor blade.

author
islander_circe (author)Mr_P2010-04-26

I used aluminium foil too; simply applied some double stick tape to it, used a small office hole punch to create small circles & stuck them on the back of the buttons. A remote that hasnt worked properly for at least 5 years is now functioning perfectly.

author
FalconV (author)Mr_P2010-04-04

I second this. I'm currently trying Aluminum Foil Tape (the stuff used for duct work, NOT "duct tape"). It works well, I don't know how long it'll stick though, that's what I'm waiting to find out. It's a lot easier and doesn't involve glue, so if it works then great! otherwise, if it falls off in a few weeks I'll be gluing it back on.

author
charge11595 (author)2009-11-08

 I had never thought about using metal to replace the contacts.
The entire button on a remote was torn off, so I replaced it with a calculator button, unaware that metal would suffice XD I am making an instructable on that.
btw, nice photos.

author
srm555 (author)2009-06-23

Another way to repair a worn out button. Go to the auto supply house and buy the copper conductive paint they use to repair broken heater wires in the rear windows of cars. Just paint onto each of the buttons and let dry.

author
yztay (author)2009-01-20

i use an old remote cut off a good piece and glue it on the damaged area the problem is cutting the piece thin enough so it will fit but u can cut a piece off the damaged remote to so it will fit better

author
jimbir (author)2008-10-05

I,ve been repairing remote buttons as follows: Wash the buttons with a dishwashing detergent and dry Thoroughly. Grind a small amount of dust (a little pile about 3/16" in diameter)from the lead of a soft pencil. Mix it with Isopropyl alcohol till you get a paint of watery Consistency. Apply a SMALL speck of this to the buttons with a toothpick. let the specks dry for 15 minutes. Next, place a Q-tip, end down, on each speck and twist it between your fingers to spread the specks into a thin film completely covering each button. Reassemble the remote and click away.

author
Dragon Maze (author)2008-09-23

I was not going to sign up for this site, as I just thought it had neat ideas. Your post fixed my Tvisto Remote, our digital media box, which has been stressing us out for months. Nothing online actually showed how to FIX the buttons, just how to clean them. We can't even get a replacement remote for our model very cheaply. But for a few cents of copper and literally 5 minutes YOU fixed it for us! I just had to join simply to thank you immensely!

author
mmelville3 (author)Dragon Maze2008-09-23

Awesome. Glad I could help.

author
Sandisk1duo (author)2008-08-24

yay!

author
rimar2000 (author)2008-08-24

Good idea. I was made this with aluminum foil. The problem for me is the adhesive to use: the silicon (seems rubber) board is difficult to stick.

author
Phil B (author)2008-08-24

This is a good and clever idea. Thin brass sheet is also available at hobby stores. It would work, too. One possible problem I have experienced with things like this is called bounce. That means the button makes contact more than once by accident and it is as if you pressed the button twice. The original carbon coating on the rubber button avoids bounce problems better. But, what you have done is preferrable to replacing the remote.